The Smithsonian is open today, Monday, January 22.
1661 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Special Exhibition Gallery, 1st Floor
This exhibition features works by the following four extraordinary artists, who are creating works of superior craftsmanship that address the classic craft notion of function without sacrificing a contemporary aesthetic:
- Cliff Lee (b. 1951), a former neurosurgeon who works in Stevens, Pennsylvania, creates elegant porcelain vessels with the exactitude of a doctor, often using his knowledge of chemistry to re-create medieval Chinese glazes long thought lost to history.
- Matthias Pliessnig (b. 1978), a furniture maker in Philadelphia, uses boat-building techniques in new ways to create graceful forms with curved wood strips that may have up to 5,000 points of contact without the aid of hardware.
- Judith Schaechter (b. 1961), a glass artist based in Philadelphia, brings a wealth of knowledge about traditional stained-glass practice to her moody windows.
- Ubaldo Vitali (b. 1944), a fourth-generation silversmith and master conservator of historic silver working in Maplewood, New Jersey, uses classical techniques he learned in Rome to create luminous works for popes, kings, and presidents.
The Renwick Craft Invitational is a biennial exhibition series established in 2000 to honor the creativity and talent of craft artists working today.